Cultivate Simple Podcast in iTunes Chiot's Run on Facebook Chiot's Run on Twitter Chiot's Run on Pinterest Chiot's Run on Flickr RSS Feed StumbleUpon

I Spy….

March 25th, 2015

I spy a spot of bare ground in my back yard! Of course this is a high spot in the yard and the snow blows off of it, there are still 20 or more inches of snowpack in the other areas of the garden. This is a start, the spot gets a little bigger each day. Bring on the spring thaw!
bare ground
One thing that I love to do in the spring is to watch the areas that lose snow first. These are perfect places to plant hellebores, hyacinths, crocuses, snowdrops, tulips, daffodils, and other spring bulbs. They can take any cold weather that is still to come and will add beautiful early spring color to the garden. In a few years I’ll be adding these plants to this area, perhaps this spot will become hellebore garden. If you’ve ever read The Layered Garden: Design Lessons for Year-Round Beauty from Brandywine Cottage, you will want to start a collection of snowdrops and hellebores.

Any snow left in your garden?

Make it a Double, or a Triple

March 24th, 2015

Whenever I make something that freezes well I double or triple the recipe. Then I freeze single portions in wide mouth pint jars. I find this really helps when I don’t have time to come up with a healthy meal or when I’m just too tired to cook. They also come in quite handy when my pantry gets a little bare.
curried broccoli soup
Last week I tried this recipe for Curried Broccoli Soup and we LOVED it. I got more broccoli at the co-op this week and made up a double batch to throw in the freezer. This soup is good for any meal, even breakfast. This weekend I have had it every single morning. I’m happy to have a few meals worth tucked away in the freezer. (for tips on freezing in glass jars check out my post on that topic).

Do you double or triple recipes so you have extra to freeze for later?

Maine Maple Sunday

March 23rd, 2015

Yesterday was Maine Maple Sunday, a day of sweetness all around Maine. People flock to the local sugarhouses and eat all sort of sweet maple goodness. My neighbor and I went to four different places, some large, some small, each unique.
Maine Maple Sunday 1
Maine Maple Sunday 2
Maine Maple Sunday 3
Maine Maple Sunday 4
Maine Maple Sunday 5
Maine Maple Sunday 6
Maine Maple Sunday 7
Maine Maple Sunday 8
Maine Maple Sunday 9
Maine Maple Sunday 10
Maine Maple Sunday 11
Maine Maple Sunday 12
Maine Maple Sunday 13
Maine Maple Sunday 14
Maine Maple Sunday 15
We ate waffles with maple cream, pancakes with maple syrup, maple bread, maple cookies, maple donuts and the kids had ice cream with maple syrup on top. Even though it was bitterly cold and there were gale force winds it was a lovely way to celebrate the arrival of spring.

Do you have any local spring festivals that you like to attend?

Friday Favorite: Gifts

March 20th, 2015

Unexpected packages from friends are such a wonderful thing. This week I sent a package to a friend in Ohio and I received a package from a friend in Ohio (not the same friend).  Finding something unexpected from someone I love is one of the little things that makes my day, it definitley makes you feel loved and appreciated. I really need to make an effort to send a note or gift to someone at least once a month.
As you can see Dexter enjoys getting gifts from friends too!

Have you sent/received something unexpected recently?

Barter is Better

March 19th, 2015

My chickens are laying like champs, which is really surprising. My flock consists of: three six year old hens, three four year old hens, eight three year old hens, and four ten month old hens. Most days I’ve been getting between 12-17 eggs. My flock of anconas are just starting to lay as well. I have four ten month old hens and I’m getting 2-3 eggs from them each day.
eggs for barter
As a result of all this laying I’m overrun with eggs. Last week I sold/bartered five dozen, this week I did once again. Somehow I still have 7 dozen eggs in my pantry. We eat four-six for breakfast each day and Tara gets 2-3 daily as well. Pretty soon I’ll have to find a few more egg customers because these chickens just keep laying! The best thing is that most of my eggs are bartered. I trade them for raw milk and cedar lumber. Not a bad deal for either party!

Do you ever barter?

Seeds and Sundries
Shop Through Amazon

Shop through this link and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!

Reading & Watching

Shop through these links and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!

Berkey Water Filter

This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.